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Recover 4:4:4 from Canon 7D’s live HDMI output

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Early this morning, I was surprised with an e-mail from a bikini store from the Basque Country. For those who don’t know, the Basque Country is an Autonomous Community of northern Spain. They obviously knew that I don’t speak Euskera (Basque), so they wrote in perfect Castilian, and fortunately were not attempting to sell me a bikini (since being a man, I really don’t need one). They explained that they had experienced a great increase in volume in online sales of their bikinis. “Due to budget constraints”, they recently purchased a Canon 7D to create their new video catalog. They went on to say that they were considering a new Swedish process which apparently recovers the original 4:4:4 shot material from the Canon 7D’s live HDMI output, which only carries 4:2:2. I wasn’t familiar with that Swedish process, so I looked into it and found that -according to the developer, even though in live mode the Canon 7D currently outputs an uncompressed cropped image of 1620×910 (not full 1920×1080), that is indeed the “same crop as the 1080p compressed material on the camera’s memory card”, meaning that after upscaling, there is no resolution loss compared to what would have been recorded in the camera. Wow! That’s a lot of bad news, and a lot of good news in a single sentence!

Syndicate 7D Tool’s unusual requirements

Currently the Syndicate 7D Tools’ requirements include a Mac with Windows! Here goes:

  • HDMI capture equipment (Syndicate currently recommends: a Mac running Final Cut Pro and a Matrox MXO2 Mini)
  • Windows XP/Vista/7
  • QuickTime 7.6 or later

This is all subject to change. There may eventually be a Mac version of Syndicate 7D Tools, so you wouldn’t need Windows. On the other hand, there may later be support for using Syndicate 7D Tools without a Mac, using a Adobe Premiere CS4 for Windows.

Price and more information

Currently, Syndicate 7D tool costs €199 (±US$287 at press time), payable via PayPal.

The developer of Syndicate 7D Tools is SYNDICATE ENT. AB in Stockholm, Sweden.

Other hopes

If the numbers are correct, then for people not looking for 4:4:4, but just very good 4:2:2, it opens doors to shooting with the KiPro or nanoFlash and then upscaling (or downscaling) later.

Allan T©pper’s articles and seminars

Get a full index of Allan T©pper’s articles and upcoming seminars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his podcast TecnoTur, together with Tanya Castañeda, Rub©n Abruña, and Liliana Marín, free via iTunes or at TecnoTur.us.


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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is a bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting…

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